Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Fraud Detection for your Safety

When a website becomes more popular and draws more traffic it invariably attracts some Internet users with impure intentions. I'm proud to announce that RentLinx has crossed that threshold!

In the last few months a few Internet scam artists have visited RentLinx-powered websites posing as renters! One of the basic scams works like this:

  • A scam artist contacts a property manager posing as a renter.
  • The scam artist says he is moving to the area from overseas and needs to quickly rent a unit.
  • The scam artist graciously offers to send a check (often times for more than the required move-in cost).
  • Once the manager receives the check, the scam artist tells her that he needs furniture delivered to his house, but cannot arrange it from his current location. He asks that she forward some of his check to the furniture company's bank account.
  • Sure enough, his original check bounces, and the furniture company was actually his own personal bank account.

Don't let this happen to you! To help you detect fraudulent leads, RentLinx has implemented a new technique to show you the country of origin of users who contact you. Almost always these scam artists operate from outside of the United States and Canada where there is virtually no risk of being penalized by law enforcement.

Below is an ACTUAL message sent from a scam artist in Nigeria which was appropriately flagged.

Nigerian Rental Scam

Note that the user claims to be from London, but our system shows they are writing from Nigeria (which is a hot bed for Internet fraud).

Remember to always use common sense and never send money AWAY from your account. Hopefully this new fraud detection technique will help.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are 3 email messages that immediately sent up red flags for me. Thanks for posting up this information, it is of great value...


Goodday.I'm highly interested in renting the unit.I saw the details of the unit and i am really interested in it.Does it need any form of renovation?
I work with the united nations development program(UNDP) Cardiff Uk and i just got a transfer that is bringing me down to New Jersey in the states.I would be coming with my wife.I do not smoke neither do i keep pets.
I would be in the states in 2 weeks time and would want to rent the apartment for a year.I would also be paying for the whole year in one lump as soon as i get there so you might not have to bother yourself with a credit check except you have to.I would also bring all proof of employment(letter of employment and letter of transfer)when i get to the states.
I will like you to take the unit off further advertisment.Please get back to me if the unit is still available so that we can make further arrangements.
I sincerely look forward to hear from you.

Alfred Powell

I replied briefly and this was his next email before I put it all to a stop.

Hi Soloman

Thanks for the getting back to me.I am highly interested in the rental.I would be in the states by 1st week of August but my company can provide me with temporary accommodation for up to a month so we can start the lease from the 15th of August or 1st of September.Is that ok for you?Let me tell you more about myself.
I work with the United nations development program(UNDP).I have been working there for 5 years.I am married with no kid.I and my wife actually got married last year.My Full name is Alfred Powell and my wifes name is Anne Narine Powell and she is a school teacher.I am 39 years old and my wife is 35.Our current house address is 19 Pendwyallt Road, Coryton Cardiff, GB CF14 7EF.
I would be happy to send you a non refundable deposit of $1000 so that you can secure the place for me till i get there.My company office in the states would be responsible for the payment.I can tell them to deduct $1000 from my travell allowance and send to you.This is to serve as a non refundable deposit so that you would know i am serious about renting the unit.I would sign the lease and pay up the rent as well as all other bills as soon as i get there.
Please send me your full name and address so that i can forward it to my company and the deposit can get to you soon.Are there any other details you think i need to know about the place?Please get back to me.
Thanks alot.

Alfred Powell

Here are 2 others...

Hello how are you today and hope you kinda having a great day, I am Jennifer Dunn, but my chums called me SHY, I am a 28 year old graduate of Limirick and I will be moving to the state soon to get a better offer. I am respectful, responsible, and sociable. I am respectful of other's personal lifestyles,belongings, as well as their privacy.All I ask in return is for my future friend to reciprocate the very same actions that I give to them. I have a very culturally diversed personality, therefore I have the ability to connect to individuals from different walks of life. I enjoy meeting interesting people and seeking new adventures. In my past times, I like to read, practice the Italian Language, watch some educational channels,such as Discovery, History, Travel, and Court TV etc.... I enjoy playing the piano and practicing the violin, going to movies. I am open minded in nature and like to apprehend and appreciate the cultural lifestyles of others. Ultimately, I am always honest and will keep it real with you, but in doing so, I will be respectful and courteous of the other's feelings. I believe that I will make a great person as well as a good friend or loyal confidant. a very reasonable and quiet person to live with, i'm friendly, very trustworthy and value relationship above anything.Again I love travelling, sporting and enjoy meeting people and seldomly party. I am cool headed, pretty laid back and easy going person and would like to have a mate who is very responsible andunderstanding, someone i can really get along with. However, I saw your advert and i am sincerely interested in the place advertised as i will like to move in as soon as we're able to reach an accord. Please i'll like to know the exact total move in cost as well as all utilities present as i'll not be able to check out the place until my arrival, so that i can make arrangement for payment prior to my arrival since i'll be moving down from Haiti as soon as i'm able to secure a comfortable place. Thanks as i anxiously await your response
Jennifer Dunn

i"m Katie Smith,
I am writing just to confirm if you still have the Apartment for rent..............If YES Please I will like to have answers to the
following questions below:
1) I will like to have the description of the rooms, size, and the equipments in there.
2) I will like to have the rent fee per month plus the utilities.
3) Also I will like to know if there is any garage or parking space cos I will have my own car come over.
4) I will also be coming with some of my furniture, that is if the room is not funished and if furnitures are allowed, like bed, book shelf cos I read alot, shoe rank etc
5) I will also like to know if I can make an advance payment ahead my arrival that will be stand as a kind of commitment that I am truely coming over and for you to hold the room down for me.
6) If the #5 questions is YES, I will like to know the total cost for the my initial move as in first month rent and if you accept deposit.
7) I will like to know the major intersection nearest your neighborhood. like shopping mall, bus line e.t.c
8) Lastly, I will like to know more about you and also I will like to have your pics as for me to know how my roommate to be looks like.
9]payment mode.
I will be very glad to have all this questions answered with out leaving a stone unturned...
Here is all I can say about my self for now.I am 29 years old female and I work for modelling company . I was born and brought up in US,I am not really a sports person,, BUT I do love Hockey Games. I am a VERY out going person and fun to be with. I do play the organ and piano,, and I do have BOTH piano and organ here at my house.I dont drink, I like going to movies,, concerts ,, plays,,I like camping, swimming, and I love to travel alot. I am a very dedicated individual who is totally committed to human development, friendly, very trustworthy and value relationship above anything.I love travelling,sporting and enjoy meeting people around the world,am also a god fearing person.I am an easy going person and like to have an apartment with someone I can really get along with.I will take my time to get you one of my pics in my next email ,so you can know how I look like, I am sure you will like to rent out our apartment out for me .I am presently in africa and I will be moving to the state to fully to start a new life and get my own business after 5 years of service in africa... I will be staying in your apartment for a six months or More. or less depending on how the lease is drawn i will be arriving the state as soon as possible...... I saw your advert and I am sincerely interested in the room as advertised I need answers to my 9 questions above as soon as possible so as to arrange for you to get the money before I wants to arrage for the payment. As I will like to make an advance payment ahead my arrival so that you can be rest assured that this is real since I am not in the state presently now so kindly email me directly ok thanks,
Thanks and have a good time.
Best Regards,
Katie Smith............

The scams are so out of control and I feel that not enough is being done about it....

10:18 PM  
Blogger Dugdale said...

I created a rental scam detection tool if anyone wants to find out if the rental is a fraud:

11:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, nice info!, very informative blog, I look forward to browse your other post the next time I drop by.

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8:50 AM  

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